Most of the times I prefer to have natural light instead of our common lighting systems. Sun light has the best color for human eyes, it is powerful and it causes production of vital vitamins in our body (plants do photosynthesis also!). Beside these health benefits, using sun for lighting up our dark spaces will reduce our electricity bill for lighting which is the biggest part of our electricity consumption. By talking about “sun light” I really mean it! I’m not talking about converting sun energy into electrical form and then using it to lighting up our room. I want to use sun rays directly in my spaces. So, let’s have look at some invented (and some evident!) ways of doing it:
- Mirrors; Constant and inside, outside and moving!
Well we all know that the best way to use the sun for lighting our house is to choose a house which has less inner walls and more big side windows. It easily brings a lot light into house so we don’t need to turn on any lamp at least before noon! But I don’t want you blame yourself because of your house choosing. If you don’t have wide windows on your walls, you can install a wide mirror on lateral wall (preferably western wall, so it can reflect morning light). It will double your room (imaginary!) and it’s light. We had implemented this in our last house and the result was great! Also you can practice dancing or lecturing with it. If you don’t have enough area for a wide mirror inside your house and you have backyard you can place some auto-moving mirrors (of course it shouldn’t track the sun because you want it to aim your window so you can have more light inside) which can conduct an strong beam of sun light into your room. Even if you don’t want to spend on this products, you can put a constant properly-directed mirror (or a wide white sheet or wide surface covered with aluminum foil) in your yard and light up your room in specific hours in a day.
- Light shelves
Light shelves are things like mirrors but they are place in upper part of your windows and they are horizontal! The idea is like this, we put a reflecting surface in upper half of window (maybe located in 80% of window from the bottom) so it can reflect the sun light on the ceiling while people can use the window to see through it! I personally think this product is useful for public places or offices, because in our house we can’t add a surface with width of about 50 cm in the middle of our windows just to reflect light. Moreover it needs regular cleaning to wash dust away.
- Sun tubes
This isn’t something new. We have seen this idea in form small windows on the roof of some houses which brings light into the room under that surface. But sun tubes are designed to be used more efficiently. They have different shapes at both sides. There is a light collecting head on the roof, a reflective tunnel to conduct light through it and a luminaire at the end, installed on the ceiling. As you see you can use this method only in last floor of the buildings (or you can use it on the walls!). but if you aren’t living in a building, it can be a good option! The luminaire reflects the light outside the house, so you will have orange light on sunsets. If your sun tube doesn’t have any option to block the light at nights, don’t use it in your bedroom because moon light is in the sky at nights!
- Collecting box and optic fiber
There are some companies which produce this great product. The idea is like this, we have some sun tracking device with Fresnel lenses on it. The lenses concentrate the sun rays on the entrance of a thick optic fiber, then the light is conducted through these fibers and they will lead it to a luminaire. As you may know the power light will decrease as it moves inside fiber (3% per foot). So you have concentrated light in something like a wire which you can bend! There is less heat because of used filters on collecting surface. So you can put your favorite plants at the end of the room and give it essential sun light with your fiber full of light! I love this Idea the most because of flexibility and no need to change house construction!
These 4 methods can cut off your electricity bill in every month. You can start with a simple mirror! And after you saw its effectiveness you can try the others.
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